‘I channelled my inner Alonso!’ – Russell reflects on his remarkable rise from P4 to P1 in Spanish GP start

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 23: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas

George Russell said he spent the night before the Spanish Grand Prix “dreaming” of the incredible start that saw him go from fourth on the grid to the lead by the first corner.

Russell lined up alongside Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton on the second row of the grid but impressively charged past Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the pole-sitting McLaren of Lando Norris on the long run down to Turn 1.

READ MORE: Verstappen just holds off Norris to win super-tight Spanish Grand Prix as Hamilton claims first podium of 2024

While his lead lasted only a couple of laps, with Verstappen soon moving ahead, Russell took plenty of satisfaction from the double-overtake and made reference to one of Fernando Alonso’s previous bold getaways in Barcelona.

2024 Spanish Grand Prix: Russell gets a lightning start from P4 to take the lead on the race start

Asked to reflect on the opening few seconds of the race, Russell beamed: “I was channelling my inner Alonso from [2011]… That was such an iconic start.

“I knew the weather was saying it was going to be a big headwind into that corner and I knew I could brake really, really deep and caught the guys off-guard.

READ MORE: Verstappen pinpoints moment that ‘made my race’ after beating Norris to Spanish GP win

“I was sort of dreaming of that [on Saturday] night. I didn’t quite think it would come to fruition as it did, so that was fun!”

Russell ultimately crossed the line in fourth place after a slow pit stop and a late-race battle with Hamilton, who managed to edge ahead and score his first podium of the season.

Russell explains the secret to his storming start after taking the lead on Lap 1

Nonetheless, Russell pointed to plenty of positives when asked if he felt the weekend was further proof that the Silver Arrows appear to be firmly back in the fight.

“Yeah, definitely,” he commented. “It’s been a couple of races in a row now, we’re fighting for the front rows of the grid, fighting for podiums.”

READ MORE: Norris claims he ‘should have won’ Spanish GP after tardy race start ‘ruined everything’

The Briton added: “It’s really exciting to see the progress we’ve made and I feel like we can really build from this now.”

Race Highlights: 2024 Spanish Grand Prix


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